Ebert: Rolling Stone:1/2 TV Guide:1/2
minor plot points revealed!
Quick Review: Before I saw this movie my pick, of the nominees, for Best Picture was The Aviator. I didn't love The Aviator but it was a good film with all the requisite Academy Award elements. It was like a really good History Channel documentary. I also think it's a travesty that Martin Scorsese, a living legend in American film, has never been honored by the Academy as such. I was also biased against Million Dollar Baby because I'm not a Clint Eastwood fan and I couldn't imagine why a movie about a girl boxer was getting such great reviews and multiple Oscar nominations. It seemed that between this film and Sideways, that the whole world had gone insane.
Million Dollar Baby is one of the few times when I was totally surprised by a film. It is far and away the best of the five movies nominated this year. This deserves to win the Best Picture and I hope it does. If The Aviator wins I will be happy for Scorsese, but Million Dollar Baby is an all around better movie. Great story, outstanding acting by all, fine direction and very cool shadowy dark cinematography. It's also the only movie I have ever seen where the entire theatre was weeping out loud by the end of the film. (I'm not counting the people who cried false tears of mock piety at The Passion of the Christ. These were fakers all who were just trying to out-cry the people in the seat next to them. That abomination was a completely insincere and disgusting display.)
Million Dollar Baby on the other hand is a wonderful movie and I recommend you see it immediately. Do not wait. Go see it at the theatre right now! If it's the only Oscar nominated film that you see this year then you can be assured that you made the right choice.
Warning Major Plot Point Revealed Below:
Note: There is a new backlash developing against this movie because some people are offended by the assisted suicide at the end of the film. I have no problem with assisted suicide, and if you actually watch the film, the movie doesn't endorse it either. It's not saying that all paraplegics should be killed. It's not even saying that the character in this film, who chose to die, was right in doing so. Al, the movie does is follow the will of the characters who make decisions throughout the film that affect their lives and the lives of those around them.